Pinson School, courtesy: bigblackcreekhistorical.com

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Roof Caves in at Pinson School

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

PINSON, Tenn. - Tough decisions are ahead for the future of an old school house in Pinson, Tennessee, after weekend storms damaged the rooftop. "We've had a roof collapse or partial roof collapse over at one of the older parts of the building," said Supt. Buddy White of the Jackson Madison County School District.

The school was build in the 1800's and has not been used for students for more than 20 years, said officials. The Jackson-Madison County School Board currently leases the property to the non-profit group, Pinson Ruritan Club.

Jerry Ellis who has served in the club for 48 years, told 7 Eyewitness News it would be a tragedy to lose the building because his group and community still uses the old school house. "We have had church services here. The Girl Scouts here meet. Senior citizens meet here. It's just the center of the community," said Ellis.

Ellis said, he is just one of several former students who has been working to restore the school's history. "We've spent approximately $24,000 on this building of our own funds," said Ellis.

With the roof now caved in on a portion of the building, school district officials said, the future of the school is unclear. Supt. White told 7 Eyewitness News that overall safety will determine the school house's fate. "We'll be looking at the building. If the building is not suited to be released then we will consult with the board again and get a direction," said White.

Rebuilding the damaged school is an investment school board members said, they are not willing to take. "The school systems mission is educating children and we want to devote our resources to education," said White.

Residents said they hope city and county officials choose to leave a portion of the building open for the community, if the damaged portion of the school house can not be saved. "It's a lot like everything in life, you really don't appreciate it until there is a chance you might lose it," said Ellis.

Officials said, a decision will be made after the damage is evaluated. The community's wishes will be taken into consideration when the decision is made by the Madison County commissioners and the Jackson-Madison County school board, said White.
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